The Committee on the National Salvage Posture of the National Research Council has completed an assessment of the salvage capability of the United States in order to determine the extent to which we have the capability to salve ships. The study focused on the needs of commercial ships for time- critical assistance in the ocean waters of the United States out to 200 miles. Military and national emergency requirements were excluded from the study. The committee concluded that it has been possible, so far, to meet our salvage needs with current capabilities. There has been no pattern of failure to cope with casualties due, in part, to the flexibility and ability to improvise, and also to luck, especially in that a catastrophe such as the Amoco Cadiz has not yet occurred in the United States. That the Prince William Sound did not become a negative statistic was luck. The incident is, nevertheless, indicative of the committee's concerns with our current salvage posture.